Essay: Enhancing web usability

Introduction

Web usability refers to the effectivity and suitability of a web application to the intended purpose of its creation(Schmider, 2003). It is supposed to create an appropriate service platform for human-machine interaction through a website. More so web usability, aesthetic preferences information display and design presentation. With the increasing interest in web quality, usability and user experience quality and framework have become a thing not to ignore in research areas, as an initial step into evaluating them ISO 25010/25012 standards evaluate software and data quality requirements and every web application developer has to adhere to them(Wu et al., 2009). The evaluation of operability, practicability and learnability of all web application is largely based on this standard. It is also vital to note that when taking of web usability that the websites should be able to neatly provide an effective navigation for the blind and vision-impaired to sufficiently have meet the conditions provided for in the said usability standard. (Lew et al., 2010)

To effect the usability of a website using the design by customer approach (BDC) would be the most effective approach as it helps cover most of the users expectation which by a great deal determines how effective the website in construction will be in meeting both the companies’ and end users expectation. DBC concept implies that the user is offered an opportunity to design a product using options offered by a company in its configuration system while the company assembles the product. (Bee and Khalid, 2003)

Enhancing web usability

‘ Include a statement that captures the philosophy of the website (tagline) it should clearly define the website in one phrase.
‘ Implementing site search from where users looking for something can typically input the required text and then search it
‘ Not using too much graphics that are likely to away the visitors, the webpage should be improved not decorated.
‘ Using sitemaps to help in page navigation and search engine optimization (SEO), sitemaps are structural representation of website page and architecture.
‘ Avoiding breaking the work flow by providing a consistence page flow.
‘ Creating easily scannable webpage so as to maintain the visitor’s loyalty
‘ Ensuring that you do not design misleading user interface controls
‘ Making sure that you give meaningful feedbacks that can help the user maneuver through the site comfortably
‘ Avoid excess use of Completely Automated Public Turing’s to tell humans and computer apart.(’10 Usability Tips for Web Designers,’ n.d.)
Factors that mainly promulgate more website usability (Wu et al., 2009)
Easy navigation
Comprehensible functionality and user control
Architectural and visual clarity
Good website content and language
Consistency
User and system feedbacks
Online help and user guides
Usable websites help companies to be more sensitive to the exact needs of their clients and know how best to counter them using a web based application. They are also associated with positive attitude towards the website and subsequently high online transaction. On the other hand poor websites are likely to result to negative financial impacts(Tarafdar and Zhang, 2005)
However there are a number of issues that affect general usability that and which they need to take a keen watch over, these are(Carta et al., 2011);
Unclear system cues
Inconsistent terminologies
Departmentalization of information
Cognitive overload.
Inconsistence mental model
References
10 Usability Tips for Web Designers, n.d. Webdesigner Depot.
Bee, O.Y., Khalid, P.H.M., 2003. Usability of Design by Customer Websites, in: Tseng, P.M.M., Piller, D.F.T. (Eds.), The Customer Centric Enterprise. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 283’300.
Carta, T., Patern??, F., Santana, V.F. de, 2011. Web Usability Probe: A Tool for Supporting Remote Usability Evaluation of Web Sites, in: Campos, P., Graham, N., Jorge, J., Nunes, N., Palanque, P., Winckler, M. (Eds.), Human-Computer Interaction ‘ INTERACT 2011, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 349’357.
Lew, P., Olsina, L., Zhang, L., 2010. Quality, Quality in Use, Actual Usability and User Experience as Key Drivers for Web Application Evaluation, in: Benatallah, B., Casati, F., Kappel, G., Rossi, G. (Eds.), Web Engineering, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 218’232.
Schmider, E., 2003. Web Usability, in: Handbuch f??r Webtexter, X.media.press. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 1’27.
Tarafdar, M., Zhang, J. (‘Jennifer’), 2005. Analyzing the Influence of Web Site Design Parameters on Web Site Usability: Inf. Resour. Manag. J. 18, 62’80.

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